For want of more space

November 13, 2006 8:12 PM | Comments (4)

My G5 PowerMac, boasting a 160GB hard disk, has only 20GB of space left after nearly 2.5 years of usage. It's been going strong, but the fan can get noisy and I sometimes wonder what would happen if something blew.

Today at work, I discovered I only had a couple hundred MB of space left in my documents drive. It's partly due to the partitioning, over which I have no control, the overall 40GB size and the fact that a good part of my work still involves multimedia.

But this has made me start to think about how to optimise my file space for both systems and set up a proper backup system for my Mac.

I have a 60GB iPod which I'm using to back up my Logic files. I would cry if I lost all my music productions because my Mac went kaputz. Everything else isn't so important.

Most of my recent photos are in Flickr. Most of my videos are NOT in Youtube (yet!) but many are not worth uploading anyway. Some of my documents have been uploaded to Writely (now Google Docs). Most of my software is in boxes and the ones that were in download-only version have been backed up on discs.

I might be in a spot with Macromedia Studio and Microsoft Office though, because they require product activation and it will be tricky re-installing them on a new system when the software manufacturers think you still have an active licence on another computer. Darn, the same probably goes with my recently acquired Adobe Photoshop licence.

So I'm considering getting a system that can back up my hard disk with the push of a button. Something easy to use, so that I will actually use it! The Seagate models look good. Anyone know other good brands? Any tips on backing up hard disks (especially for Macs)?

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Hi Vanessa,

I recently bought the 500GiB version of the Maxtor OneTouch III. It's about the size a thick hardcover novel with rubber coverings on the sides. It's pretty fast with the FireWire400 though I'm not too sure about the speed for USB2.0 as I haven't used that. The drive is super quiet as compared to the IceCube Pleiades. The drive runs quite cool too.

The only quirks that the drive have is that it takes a few seconds to power up when your Mac goes to sleep mode and it super bright activity light in front.

I've a software tip, not hardware. I fix a lot of Macs in my free time and one of the best software I've used for backing up Mac hard drives is called "SuperDuper". It works similar to Norton Ghost on Windows, by imaging the entire partition and either cloning it to a new drive, or making a disk image for safekeeping. You can find it here:

There's apparently a free way to backup your hard disk within Disk Utility - under the restore tab. I haven't tried that out to know how well it works though.

In Disk Utility is also the ability to setup software RAID, so it's possible to say mirror your main hard disk on the fly using RAID 1 to a second internal hard disk or a external firewire one.

However, it's good for getting back to productivity when a hard disk fails (or redundancy); say if I were careless enough to secure erase a folder I'd rather keep, RAID 1 simply mirrors the error to the mirrored disk. In that case I'd hope I do have a backup made somewhere..

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This page contains a single entry by vantan published on November 13, 2006 8:12 PM.

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